While we feel like we have a handle on the looks we're leaving in 2016 and an idea about what may pop up in 2017, we thought it wise to consult an expert. Enter Jane Buckingham. Buckingham has built a career as a trend forecaster, focusing on consumer insights and generational trends, with her company, Trendera.
How exactly does it work? I probed, wondering if she was secretly psychic. She answered, "We comb the globe for all of the hottest new trends. We walk the streets (okay, get your mind out of the gutters), hit the hottest spots, and combine quantitative research with qualitative fact finding to see what people are doing and influencers will be trying. It's not an exact science, but we talk to everyone we can—from DJs to stylists, editors to boutique owners, teens to trendy mums—and put it all together to see what we think will be next."
She continued, "We help companies and people understand what the trends will be and more importantly why they matter. When it comes to beauty, it's not just about what we put on our faces, but why we want to express the looks we do."
Keep reading for Buckingham's predictions for 2017 (as well as a few from Beyoncé's go-to makeup artist, Sir John).
Buckingham says, "Just when you thought highlighting couldn't hit any new heights, expect to see draping go mainstream. Women (and men) will be (literally) turning the other cheek to show off major sculpting achieved through strategically applied blush, rather than a heavy contour." See how this simple blush technique completely changed one writer's face.
"After a pretty wretched 2016, 2017 will yield a lot of fun and playful makeup," Buckingham explains. "Like its namesake, 'unicorn makeup' brings us holographic, glitter, rainbow, and bright pastels that feel fun and offer the fantasy fulfilment we all are looking for."
Sir John couldn't agree more: "Think of this trend as 3D highlighting. Three-dimensional, multispectrum shades (that have been seen on eyes and nails in the past) are now moving to our skin and face makeup. I love to combine a super-radiant foundation like L'Oréal Paris Lumi Magique (£11) to give your skin an all-over glow. Then, use a few different shades of highlighting products to try out the thermal highlighting trend. True Match Lumi Powder Glow Illuminator (£14) is a great example because the multiple shades are available in one palette. Highlight different contours of your face to bring this look to life."
"The 80s aren't just taking over our music and fashion choices, but our beauty products as well," suggests Buckingham. "That heinous blue eye shadow is back, but, trust, it's better the second time around! Bold colors, glitter and heavy smoky liner will reign supreme in 2017. Think Studio 54 Diana Ross vibes and you'll be right on track." Need more proof? You've got it.
Buckingham continues, "While there will be a lot of wild looks happening, you can also expect to see some romantic makeup with gently muted tones, wisps of hair across the eyes, and more matte looks to complement the lace, chiffon and ruffles we are seeing on the runway. So if holographic highlighter and bold '80s looks aren't your thing, perhaps a little romance is more your style."
Sir John excitedly explains, "I am coining this a new trend in 2017. The technique is all about mixing different shades of lip colors and 'smacking' lips together to create a super-ethereal, cool look. Take one shade of Infallible Lip Paints [Ed note: These are only available in the U.S. Try Maybelline Color Drama Intense Lip Paint, £5, instead.] and apply it to your top lip. Then, take a different shade—I love to do light with dark, so, purple with taupe or magenta with light pink. After applying, smack your lips together, but don't rub! This motion helps the colors blend together to create the popsicle-stained look we're going for. It's different and organic every time you do it."
"As emerging experimental generations Gen Y and Gen V continue to push all sorts of boundaries, we expect to see a cultural turning point for skincare, grooming, and makeup as men increasingly feel comfortable expressing themselves through their eyes, lips, and nails," says Buckingham.
We couldn't agree more. Take Charles James, for example, a makeup artist, Instagram superstar, and high school junior who was also recently signed as CoverGirl's first-ever male brand ambassador. It's incredible to watch his Instagram showcase transformative, dynamic makeup looks (and seriously covetable cheekbones), and even more exciting to watch huge mainstream brands take notice.
Need to edit your vanity? We can help. No one will be using these beauty products in 2017.